Outdoor play returns to Radford with story of Mary Draper Ingles


On the last Sunday of every month this summer in the sunken garden at Nesselrod Bed and Breakfast, the story of Mary Draper Ingles will be retold as a historical outdoor drama with a working title of, “Mary Draper Ingles: A Heroine’s Journey.” In it, Mary Draper Ingles tells her story of strength and determination that reunited her with her family after being captured by Native Americans in 1755.

“The Long Way Home” was designated as the official historical outdoor drama of the Commonwealth, and was held annually in Radford from 1971-1999. The play told the story of Mary’s capture, life among the Native Americans, and her eventual escape and journey of over 500 miles through Appalachia to return to her home in the New River Valley.

Mark Gordon, the owner of Nesselrod Bed and Breakfast stated, “I am just honored to be able to have this amazing story retold on my property.”

Radford University tourism professor Joshua Carroll said “It’s truly an incredible story that everyone should hear, and having it performed once again in Radford, along the river, where Mary lived out the rest of her days, makes for a powerful performance.”

Carroll is helping to organize the performance season, and adds “I also think it will be good for the City of Radford, as this can be one of the tourism draws that helps to define a place.” Help celebrate the legacy of Mary Draper Ingles this summer, and witness the telling of this heroic story.

Tickets will go on sale May 1 via a link on the Nesselrod website (http://www.nesselrod.com/) for both general admission and dinner theater seats. Dinner theater tickets will provide patrons with reserved seats at the front of the amphitheater and dinner before the performance. A limited amount of dinner tickets will be available so please purchase these in advance.

Performances will take place June 25, July 30, Aug. 27 and Sept. 24.

— Submitted by Deborah Cooney